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Trust and Love
Rabbi Hagay Batzri
I would like to write you about
the name of our upcoming holiday,
“Passover.” Our Torah never gave the holiday
this name: “Passover” or, in Hebrew,
“Pesach.” In the Torah, it is called
“Hag Hamatzot” or “The Holiday of the
Matza” three times. Yet, we call it “Pesach”
and not “Matzot” as in the Torah. Why?
The names “Pesach” or “Passover” refer to
how Hashem skipped over the homes of the
Jewish people when plaguing the Egyptians
with the deaths of the firstborns. “Pesach”
literally means “to skip” or “to pass over.”
Each time we call the holiday “Pesach” we
strive to praise and acknowledge the Almighty.
Each time we say “Passover,” we
mention the great miracle that He performed
when He saved us, skipping our firstborns
with love. This is the central and most important
concept of the holiday: to praise and
thank Hashem for what He has given us and
what He continues to give us to this day.
On the other hand, God called the holiday
“Hag Hamatzot” as a way of praising us, the
people of Israel. When the Jewish people heard they
were going to be redeemed, freed from Egypt they fully
trusted God. They didn’t care about the food or about
what they were going to eat on the way. They left Egypt
quickly, baking their bread so rapidly that it became matza.
They loved God and moved on, trusting in that love.
As the verse, or “pasuk,” says in Jeremiah/Yirmiyahu 2:2:
"Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus
says the Lord, "I remember concerning you the devotion of
your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after
Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown.”’"
And, as we read on Pesach in the Song of Songs, “Shir
Hashirim”: "I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine."
Read metaphorically, God loves us and belongs to us,
and we love Him and belong to Him.
God called this holiday Hag Hamatzot to convey to us
that He had such happiness in us, that He was proud to
see the Jewish nation, fully trusting Him even though it
looked as though they were going nowhere, into the desert.
They were full of faith that, with God directing them,
everything would turn out well.
Hashem has so much love for us that, for Him, the holiday
is about our faith in Him. That’s why He names it
“Hag Hamatzot.” It’s His way of saying ‘I remember your
love for Me shown through the Matzot.